Wigan manager Roberto Martinez was able to joke about Maynor Figueroa's "perfect hat-trick" after the Honduran scored only his third - but his most vital - goal to beat Birmingham 2-1 at the DW Stadium.
The Honduras international struck in the second of five added minutes to snatch all three points and give the Latics' Barclays Premier League survival battle a much-needed boost.
"It is a great story - after 110 appearances it is the perfect hat-trick," said Martinez. "He had one wonder goal with his left foot against Stoke (from 60 yards), one with his head against Tottenham and now with his right foot."
He added: "It was great just to see him going forward and he was a joy to watch.
"Maynor is the nicest and most professional player you will see and he deserved his moment today.
"He had a very tough summer being in the World Cup and he has not had any time off and had a slow start to the season.
"Now he is physically stronger and when he is physically strong he is a very powerful left-back."
The win could not lift Wigan off the bottom but it at least brought all their rivals closer to them.
There are now only two points between them and safety and they are only six off 11th place.
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